JAMES I. HALE, M. D. After forty years spent in the practice of medicine and surgery in the city of Anna, Dr. James I. Hale has risen to a foremost position among the medical practitioners of Southern Illinois, and during this time has held various positions of honor and trust, in all of which he has discharged his duties with the utmost fidelity. Possessed of a vigorous and active physical constitution and an attractive personality, of a hopeful and ardent disposition, and a man with determined and persistent purpose, he is admirably fitted to carry on the great work with which he is identified and the kind of a man who will at once win the confidence, respect and admiration of those with whom he comes in contact. Dr. Hale was born April 16, 1844, in a log cabin on a farm which was located on the present site of the city of Anna, and he has always resided in Union county.
The Hale family is of English descent and traces its ancestry in this country back to Colonial times, many of the family name residing in or near Mayfield, Kentucky, at this time. Dr. Hale's parents, James V. and Susan (Hale) Hale, cousins, were both born in Kentucky and came to Illinois at an early day, settling in the wilderness of Union county. After some time here, James V. Hale returned on a visit to some relatives in Kentucky, and as he was never again heard from it is supposed that he was drowned. Later his widow married John Black, a farmer, who died one year later, while she survived him many years and died when sixty-six. "When he was six years of age, James I. Hale was apprenticed to Adam Lence, a farmer of Union county, and by the time he had reached the age of eighteen years he had a fair education, most of which he had picked up by himself, and had also learned the trades of wheelwright and cabinet-maker. In August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company C, 109th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was later transferred to Company A, Eleventh Regiment. He was early detailed to hospital work, and while there was able to read numerous medical works, which ended in his decision to become a doctor. On his return from the war he located in Anna, and began to study medicine under Dr. S. S. Condon, and during the fall of 1868 entered the Chicago Medical College, attending the winter and spring terms. In May, 1869, he felt qualified to begin practice, and subsequently established himself at Saratoga, Illinois, but soon thereafter moved to Penninger, where from 1870 until 1872 he acted as postmaster. He returned to Anna in the latter year, and in the fall of 1873 again entered the Chicago Medical College, from which he was graduated in March, 1874. During the year 1877 Dr. Hale was commissioned surgeon of the Eleventh Regiment, Illinois National Guard, with the rank of major, in which position he continued for five years, subsequently acting as local pension examiner for eight years. He was a member of the city council of Anna from 1874 to 1876, coroner of Union county from 1881 to 1885, and again alderman from 1882 to 1884. Dr. Hale was active in establishing Union Academy, now one of the best known educational institutions in Southern Illinois, and was one of the founders of the Union County News, now published as The Talk, in addition to which he has aided materially in the development of the building interests of Anna by erecting several brick business structures.
In 1875 Dr. Hale became the prime mover in the organization of the Southern Illinois Medical Association, of which he has been secretary, vice-president and president on various occasions, and he is also a member of the American Medical Association which he joined in 1884, the Illinois State Medical Society, with which he became connected in 1896, and the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1871, joined the Royal Arch Chapter in 1877, and since 1886 has belonged to the Knights Templar, serving as master of the local lodge on a number of occasions and as High Priest six times. He belongs to Hiawatha Lodge No. 219, Odd Fellows, and Lodge No. 315, Knights and Ladies of Honor. Dr. Hale has been interested in the work of the Presbyterian church, in which he has served as elder, and has given his influence and support to various movements of a religious and charitable nature. He is a Prohibitionist in his political views.
On October 17, 1865, Dr. Hale was married to Miss Mary J. Wilson, of Caledonia, Pulaski county, Illinois, daughter of John and Ann M. Wilson, ea'rly pioneer settlers of that county, and granddaughter of George Lingle, who came early to that section from North Carolina. Three children have been born to the union of Dr. and Mrs. Hale, namely: Dr. John A., who is engaged in practice at Alto Pass, Illinois, and who married Jessie Lewis, of Pulaski county; Dr. E. V., who is engaged in practice with Dr. Martin, at Anna, and who married Amelia Spengeman of Carmi, Illinois; and Flora, who married James Fitzpatrick, of Anna.
Dr. Hale is the owner of a finely-cultivated farm of 235 acres located in Union county, on which are two tenant houses, and a part of this land is devoted to fruit-raising. He is a stockholder in the First National Bank, and also has an interest in a large lumber concern and a fruit package company at Anna. The greater part of his attention, however, has been given to his profession, and he has build up a reputation that extends throughout Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri, from whence his patients come. He specializes in surgery, chronic diseases and diseases of women, and makes no calls except in consultation. In 1900 he erected a brick hospital building, with fifty rooms and a capacity for taking care of thirty patients, and this has been recently enlarged, being now three stories in height, with basement, and fully equipped with elevator service and all modern conveniences. From twelve to fifteen patients are treated regularly. In 1905 he opened a sanatorium to the public, and since that time has had about 1,900 resident patients, or those who remain one week or more. Since that year, Dr. Hale has performed 262 surgical operations, and his success in many complicated cases has stamped him as one of the leading surgeons of his time and locality. A fearless, untiring, energetic, forceful and thoroughly sincere laborer, Dr. Hale's efforts have borne rich fruit, and in naming the eminent medical men of today his name should stand among the foremost in the ranks of the men of his profession.
Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 2, page 628-630